Much of Holy Week consists, or ought to consist, in our going back in mind and heart to those first and unique events. In our day particularly we need to be reminded that what happened then was not just one example of a general pattern, but the central and unrepeatable events which form the hinge upon which the great door of cosmic history has swung open at last. That is perhaps the hardest thing for our generation to believe, and we have to rub our noses in it over and over again. But when we do that – when we grasp the unique and decisive and one-off nature of those events, from Palm Sunday to Good Friday and on to Easter itself – we discover again, and it’s bound to be almost as deeply disturbing, that there are similar lessons always to be learn in the church and in our own hearts and lives. When Jesus comes to his church, and to this people, today, he comes with the same message, and with the same warning. He comes seeking fruit, the fruit which belongs to his father. And those of us who decide to make the journey from Palm Sunday to Good Friday can never therefore do so in anything other than fear and trembling. We are, says St Paul, the temples of the living God. God forbid that when the Lord whom we seek comes once again to his temple he should find it necessary once more to come with stories of judgment. May we so hear the word, so live within the story that we find ourselves in six days’ time at the food of the cross, and in eight days at the empty tomb, and find ourselves saying, “this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
– Tom Wright, “Palm Sunday Matins,” in The Scriptures, the Cross, and the Power of God: Reflections for Holy Week. This book (meditations and addresses from Matthew 21-23, 28 and John 13, 19, 20) has been my holy week companion for several years now. I expect to do the daily readings again this week and post a choice quote or two here or on facebook.
grace and peace – Andy